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Policy transfer in city-to-city cooperation: implications for urban climate governance learning

Shefer, Ira
Journal of environmental policy & planning 2019 v.21 no.1 pp. 61-75
cities, climate, environmental policy, exogenous sources, governance, learning, politics, qualitative analysis
City-to-city cooperation is one mechanism in which climate policies are developed, transferred and learned between cities. However, the process of transfer of urban climate policies and sustainability in bilateral cooperation that embeds knowledge gaps and different political contexts is under-researched. Especially missing is an understanding of the modes, sources and depth of learning in these constellations, and their relations to urban climate governance. This paper asks to better understand this learning relationship. It does so by applying guiding questions from policy transfer framework and governance learning literature to the cooperation between two German cities (Berlin and Freiburg) and one Israeli city (Tel Aviv-Yafo). By aligning qualitative methods with these frameworks, the paper reveals that in this constellation learning is mostly sequential, from exogenous sources and with no substantial contribution to urban climate governance in the recipient city (Tel Aviv). However, learning produces modest policy changes and has a potential of scaling horizontally and vertically in Israeli domestic settings.